Volleyball Advances to SAC Final After Sweep of Mars Hill
HARROGATE, TN -- Catawba swept past sixth-seeded Mars Hill to reach the championship match of the 2011 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Volleyball Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Mars Gym on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University. The second-seeded Lady Indians won by the scores of 25-17, 25-18 and 25-19 to improve to 23-6 on the year. Mars Hill ends its season at 15-12. Catawba will face five-time defending champion and top-seeded Wingate in Sunday’s final.
Kaitlyn Whitmer (Ferrum, VA/Franklin Co. HS) led a balanced Catawba attack with 10 kills, while serving up five aces and adding eight digs. Shay Meeks (Kings Mountain, NC/Kings Mountain HS) collected nine kills and had three aces with 10 digs.
Setter Jordan Raye (Boonville, NC/Starmount HS) handed out 34 assists, while the Lady Indians hit at 34% for the match. Raye recorded 11 digs and six kills. Libero Jenny Young (Roanoke, VA/Patrick Henry HS) registered 27 digs.
Marissa Wixson led Mars Hill with 11 kills. Libero Maggie Murphy had 10 digs, while setter Hannah Wilson dished out 18 assists. The Lions hit just 15%.
Catawba fell behind 3-0 to open the first set, but scored four quick points, two on aces by Whitmer, to lead 4-3. The Lady Indians led just 17-15 after a kill by Leigh Ann Huskey before using an 8-2 run to close out the set. Taylor Doss (Boonville, NC/Starmount HS) had a pair of kills and a block in the late surge.
The Lady Indians used another late push to take set two. A kill by Wixson had pulled Mars Hill even at 14-14 then after a service error put Catawba back on top, Meeks served a pair of aces to stretch the margin to 17-14. The Lady Indians used a five-point run to increase the margin to 22-15 before Meeks killed off the final point.
A strong start by Mars Hill in set three had the Lions out to a 5-1 edge, but like the first set Catawba came right back and after Whitmer served three straight aces, the Lady Indians were ahead 6-5. Emily Richardson (Salem, VA/Salem HS) had late kills to give Catawba leads of 20-17 and 21-18. The second started a four-point run that brought Catawba to match point on a kill by Whitmer. Related Item: Box Score